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Jessica, age 8, discovers world of music with RNIB's services

8-year-old Jessica Hardy lives in West Sussex. Jessica was born with cataracts, microphthalmia and nystagmus. However, she doesn’t let her visual impairments hold her back. She enjoys life and takes on new challenges like bike-riding. She is a happy, fun-loving and sociable girl.

Jessica’s family have used several of RNIB’s services including the Advice Line. They’ve contacted RNIB for legal advice and guidance when they were trying to secure funding for one-to-one learning support in her mainstream school. Jessica has also accessed reading materials through RNIB’s various reading services, including the large print library, braille services and Talking Books.

Jessica is in Year 4 now and seems to be coping well using large print resources. She also uses an iPad at school and has a Connect 12 with the Progiji software that she uses at home. Jessica’s family value this software because they can download books from RNIB Bookshare straight onto the Connect 12 and it converts the text to the correct format and size.

Jessica finds ways around her visual impairment and it doesn’t hold her back from enjoying her life or taking on new challenges. For example, she has learned to ride a bike. Her mum supports her with this by acting as a guide next to her in tricky areas, for example near roads, on uneven ground and on busy paths.

Jessica has also started guitar lessons and is getting on well as long has her sheet music is enlarged for her.

All in all life, Jessica is enjoying her life and her mum describes her as a happy, fun-loving and sociable girl.

RNIB Campaigning and Fundraising

Jessica’s Mum, Sam, is happy to work with RNIB and to feature with her daughter in fundraising campaigns.

In 2015, Jessica featured in the Wear Dots fundraising video.

The family were also approached to see if they would be happy to front RNIB’s new face-to-face fundraising materials. They were keen to get involved. The face-to-face fundraising materials are based on Jessica’s journey with RNIB so far. The feature also demonstrates how giving regular monthly contributions helps RNIB to support Jessica, and other children, throughout their lives.